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State Begins Review Of Dolphins Stadium Funding Request

MIAMI (CBSMiami/NSF) – Four sporting organizations are asking the state for a cash infusion renovate their venues.

The Miami Dolphins are the first of the group to have their application reviewed by the state for a $90 million boost for the $350 million in renovations at Sun Life Stadium.

The same can’t be said for proposals from the three other applicants seeking money through the state’s revamped stadium-funding process — EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Daytona International Speedway and Orlando’s plans for a Major League Soccer stadium.

The deadline for the applications was Nov. 1, but the actual reviews don’t begin until the paperwork is deemed complete.

South Florida Stadium LLC, filing for the Miami Dolphins’ home, became the first to reach that clock-starting benchmark Friday, Department of Economic Opportunity spokeswoman Jessica Sims said in an email.

The proposal asks the state for $3 million a year for 30 years.

According to a law crafted this spring, the state agency has 60 days to advise the Dolphins if the proposal is economically viable for Florida. The state agency is also required to provide a list that ranks the applicants to the Legislative Budget Commission by Feb. 1.The four applicants each promise they will create jobs, attract unique sporting and cultural events and increase tourists to Florida.

Jacksonville has requested $30 million for work to improve EverBank Field, which houses the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

Orlando, asking for $60 million, sees its $110 million soccer stadium as a “one-of-a-kind downtown venue.”

Daytona International Speedway is seeking $90 million from the state for its ongoing, $400 million front-stretch expansion called “Daytona Rising.”

The four venues are in a competition for this year’s pot of $7 million in state sales-tax dollars for stadium projects. There is no guarantee of funding. But even if all are found economically viable, at least one of the proposals will fail this year as the funding requests collectively seek $9 million annually.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”

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